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New Poll Reveals Scots’ Common Bonds With UK Citizens

A NEW poll by Our Scottish Future today reveals the deep connection Scots feel with people in Wales, the north of England and the Midlands – but also the sense of alienation they have with London.

It comes ahead of a major Our Scottish Future rally in Edinburgh this week when Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin will join Scottish leaders in a call to decentralise power in Britain.

Brought together by OSF founder and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the group will argue that reform to the UK is essential if the country is forge a fresh way forward together.

The FocalData poll of 1,000 people asked Scots if they felt they had common bonds with different communities across the UK.

Scots said yes by large margins when it came to Geordies (58%), Welsh people (57%) and Liverpudlians (46%).

And when asked about all people from the north east, north west, midlands and Wales, 49% of Scots said they shared a common bond, as against 28% who said they did not.

But the figures were reversed when Scots were asked about Londoners: only 17% said they felt a common bond compared to 65% who said they did not. When asked about “English people in general”, 33% said they had a common bond as against 52% who said they didn’t.

Commenting on the poll today, Mr Brown said the findings showed Scotland could find common cause with leaders across the UK to change Britain for the better.

Mr Brown said: “This poll shows that Scotland’s problem isn’t with England – our problem is with the over concentration of power in Whitehall and Westminster.”

“Much of England and Wales feels it too.”

He added: “That’s why this week we’re bringing to Scotland Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, Andy Burnham the mayor of Greater Manchester and Tracy Brabin from West Yorkshire. They will talk together how, across the whole of the United Kingdom, we can fight for change we can believe in.”

Thursday’s rally, entitled “Stronger Scotland, Better Britain”, will also hear from Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Mr Brown on how the Scottish Government can work with allies across the UK to improve outcomes on health, the economy, and climate change.

Our Scottish Future was set up by Mr Brown three years ago to set out a fresh agenda for change across the UK.

Last year Mr Brown published a major report on reform of the UK, calling for an end to the unelected House of Lords, more devolution to the regions of the UK, and new Council of the Nations and Regions.

The report concluded that far more political and economic power should be pushed out of London and the south east so as to ensure the UK was meeting its full potential.

Today’s poll is the latest in a series of surveys to show that Scotland shares common bonds with many other parts of the UK.

Asked whether they felt invisible to politicians at Westminster, a majority agreed across the UK: 54% in Scotland, 58% in Wales, 59% in the north east of England, and 58% in Yorkshire and Humber.

Asked whether they felt it didn’t matter who you voted for, nothing would change, similar numbers agreed: 66% in Scotland, 68% in Wales, 66% in the north west and 68% in the north east.

It follows polling for the New British Project think-tank last week which found that different parts of the UK were similarly united by a feeling of pessimism about the future. Asked if they felt optimistic about the future of Britain, the figures were 28% in Scotland, 27% in West Midlands, 31% in the north west, 35% in the North East, and only 15% in Wales. Broken Britain | New Britain Project

Thursday’s rally will take place at 730pm at the Central Hall, Edinburgh.


The data tables for today’s polling are available here: 20230526_OurScottishFuture_ScotlandPoll_Q17_Q18_DataTables – Google Sheets

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